Full Text: Judicial Reform in China (20)

(Xinhua)

15:04, April 17, 2013

5. Protecting the Legal Rights and Interests of Detainees

A house of detention is a criminal custody institution for detaining persons who have been arrested and taken into custody in accordance with the law. Protecting detainees' legal rights and interests not only demonstrates the level of civilized and standardized legal enforcement of the house of detention but is also the need for human rights protection.

China attaches great importance to improving the surveillance level of houses of detention, prohibits extorting confessions by torture and overdue custody, improves the conditions for detention and surveillance, improves the living conditions of detainees and protects their lawful rights and interests. A body surface examination will be conducted on a detainee daily within seven days after he/she is sent to a house of detention, and this examination system is also strictly implemented before and after a round of interrogation, as well as before and after a detainee is sent away from or back to a house of detention. The system of one bed for each inmate will be gradually adopted, and medical care for prison inmates will be socialized, so as to ensure that an inmate gets timely treatment in case of illness. The system of investigation and handling of complaints by detainees will be improved, so will the system of detainees' meeting with the police, officials of detention houses or resident procurators upon their requests, so as to receive and investigate complaints and accusations by detainees on time. When the term of detention for a detainee is to expire, the house of detention should submit a written report to the resident procurator's office, which in turn will supervise whether the release of the detainee or alteration of the compulsory measures by the investigation authorities are carried out promptly. From 2008 to 2011, procuratorial organs conducted supervision and examination of houses of detention throughout the country, and corrected 5,473 cases of illegal detention. Efforts are being made to crack down on bullying rogues in prisons, and alarm devices are installed in each cell so that the detainees can call the police on time in case of abuse. The practice is adopted whereby officials talk to detainees upon their release from the house of detention, with follow-up observations and meetings with them for better monitoring over bullying rogues in houses of detention. A responsible system is implemented for chief and assistant policemen in management of prison cells, and those concerned shall be held accountable if there are serious injuries or deaths of detainees inflicted by bullies because of lax management. The system of inviting special supervisors to inspect detention facilities will be established whereby invited special supervisors may come and inspect the performance of duties and law enforcement by the police in the houses of detention during working hours without notification in advance. In 2010, the number of accidents in houses of detention fell by 31.6% compared with 2009. Video meetings with detainees is being introduced in houses of detention across the country to facilitate family visits. The systems of security risk assessment and separate management of detainees have been established, and psychological intervention has been strengthened for detainees. The working principle of "education, persuasion and rehabilitation," which integrates educational measures with management and care for detainees, is upheld in order to help them foster again a positive attitude towards life and healthy lifestyle.

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